3.8.3.80 Start Dates for PES Qualifying Study

Summary

Generally, a student is not regarded as undertaking qualifying study (1.1.Q.40) until the start of classes. This topic explains the application of this rule, and exceptions to this general rule.

Short course (1.1.S.160) or late starting course (1.1.L.30)

If a student is commencing a short course or a late starting course, their qualifying study starts from the commencement of classes.

Break in study of one semester or less

If a student is resuming study after a break of one semester or less and they are commencing a full year course, qualifying study starts from 1 January or 1 July, providing the student starts the course before 1 April, or on or after 1 July respectively.

Act reference: SSAct section 1061PB(3) Taken to be undertaking qualifying study from 1 January, see (c)(i)

Break in study of more than one semester

If a student is resuming study after a break greater than one semester, qualifying study starts from the commencement of classes unless the student is resuming study after a break of more than one semester in the preceding 12 months and discontinued study due to illness or a circumstance beyond their control (see Exception).

Exception: If illness or other circumstances beyond the student's control are the reason why the student had a break greater than one semester, then qualifying study may commence from 1 January or 1 July IF the new course is a full year course. To qualify from these dates the student would need to start the course before 1 April or on or after 1 July, respectively.

Example: A student is forced to discontinue or defer their course because of illness for more than a semester before resuming study.

Act reference: SSAct section 1061PB(1) Undertaking qualifying study - General, see (c), section 1061PB(3) Taken to be undertaking qualifying study from 1 January, see (c)(ii)

Articulated short course sequences

For the purposes of qualifying study, an articulated short course sequence is regarded as a full year course (1.1.F.210), as long as it is NOT a late starting course. If a student subsequently decides not to undertake the other short courses that count toward the sequence being regarded as a full year course, they remain eligible for PES from the same date as other students.

Breaks in short courses

Payment of PES between short courses depends on whether or not those short courses are articulated. If they are articulated, then PES can be paid between courses if the break is not greater than 28 days, or longer when there are circumstances beyond the person's control (1.1.A.270).

Courses approved after commencement

Some courses actually commence while their accreditation is still taking place. In this case, once the accreditation has been given, eligible students may be regarded as undertaking qualifying study from the date they would otherwise have qualified from, PROVIDED the following conditions are met:

  • the course must be approved before its conclusion, AND
  • a claim for PES has been made within the allowable timeframe.

A student cannot be regarded as undertaking qualifying study:

  • for a previous calendar year, or
  • if the course is completed before its accreditation.

Cessation of qualifying study

The following table explains when a student's qualifying study ceases for PES purposes.

If the… Then qualifying study ceases on…
course is a full year course or a late starting course, AND
the student completes the course after 15 September but before 31 December,
31 December of the year of study.
student completes their course in any other circumstance than that above, the last day of the course.
student does not resume studies after a vacation, the day the student becomes aware that they are not resuming studies - but no later then the Friday in the second week of classes.
student discontinues studies before the end of the course, AND
student is NOT an isolated boarding student OR covered by circumstances beyond their control,
the last day the student undertook study. If the student is a boarder or covered by extenuating circumstances, they qualify until the day they became aware that they would not resume studies.
student reduces their study-load to below the allowable approved level, the day the student reduces their study-load.

Act reference: SSAct section 1061PB(5) Taken to be undertaking qualifying study until 31 December

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.8.3.120 Variation or Termination of PES

Last reviewed: 1 July 2015